Daily Practices: Train your Brain
Dr. Richard J. Davidson, William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, and Founder of the Center for Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison says science confirms that “A wandering mind is an unhappy mind.”
I believe it is important to “train your brain, be kind to your mind and pay attention to what you think about and how you feel.” Having practices around my brain/mind is comforting. It helps me to have a focus for my mind so I say my morning affirmations. Affirmations are statements that are aimed to affect the conscious and the subconscious mind. We have between 60,000-80,000 thoughts during the day, so why not focus specifically on what I would like to show up in my life?
Most mornings I start my day with a walk with my Yorki Poo, Lacee. During my walk I am enjoying the sights and listening to nature. I also say my affirmations aloud. I’ve usually had few minutes (10 or less) in meditation before I start my walk. If I have any questions I want to have my subconscious work on, I think about those questions before I meditate and walk.
Here are some affirmations I say aloud as I’m walking the dog.
- I am calm. I am safe. I am secure. All is well. I am grounded in life.
- Today I take time to laugh more and not take myself so seriously.
- Unexpected income finds me from places I could never recognize. I am grateful.
- I trust my person guidance system (PGS) and I am always moving in the best direction for me at all times.
- I love myself at all ages and stages of life. I am divine.
- I forgive myself. I forgive others. I love myself. I know that forgiveness a key to living a fulfilling life.
- Today, I stop to breathe and connect with the present moment.
- Perfect health is my divine birthright. I eat foods that nourish my body by instinct.
- I allow myself the time to stop for myself to breath.
- People love me and want to help me.
- Things are always working out for me.
- I have strength, stamina, endurance and flexibility. I trust that the right people and resources present themselves to me and I recognize them immediately. I take time during my day to be stil andget clear so I can make the best decisions. I believe that no matter how things appear, things are always working out for my highest and greatest good.
Affirmations may be spoken, written and thought silently. I also practice using my affirmations during the day. Whenever I’m about to interact with people I like to use the affirmation I heard Louise Hay say, “People love me and always want to help me.” I really find that helps lay a great foundation for conversations with people.
I’d enjoy hearing any affirmations, confirmations, or thoughts on how you train your brain.
Check out my FB Live about my current top 3 struggles… for now. Let me know yours are.
Meditations & Conversations is an opportunity for all levels of meditators to gather in community to be in practice together.
Join us for an hour of relaxation using breath work, meditations & conversations designed to help you recharge, replenish and reconnect with your spirit.
No experience required, just your open mind and willingness.
Registration 2:00 pm – 2:15 pm
Oracle cards 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Meditations 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Conversations 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Juiceez Etc – 20 Jackson Street Atlanta 30312 Phone:(404) 688-3812
Juiceez & Etc. is located off Edgewood Avenue @ the corner of Jackson & Chamberlain—on street parking
Bring yourself, a friend, a blanket and/or pillow. Yoga mats are available or feel free to bring your own.
RSVP to confirm your attendance. Please pay upon arrival
The Power of the Present Moment
In March this year I completed a four week long Mindfulness Based Stress Resilience class that also included a day long silent retreat. Prior to taking the class I had an issue with my back and right knee that definitely made me “mindful” about how I was able to move, the pain was a constant reminder. Pain can be a gentle or strong reminder of how we are living our life. I struggled for several days and finally I was in so much pain that I had to take a few days off from work. The decision to take a few days off of work was big for me, I don’t remember the last time I have taken time off due to illness.
I also missed the second class due to the extreme pain. In the bed on my back with my ice pack I was definitely finely tuned in with each present moment. I practiced breathing and meditating a lot over those days. Being forced to “be still” made me even more present once I was able to move more fluidly a few days later. I gingerly walked the dog and took my time getting in the car. I was forced to practice mindfulness in a way you can only experience when in pain.
It was a valuable lesson. I am proud of myself for taking care of me and listening to what my body was saying. Stop. Slow down. Take care of yourself. I am slowing down more, taking my time and savoring more of the day to day experiences like walking the dog and taking in the sights and sounds. Life’s simple pleasures like watching a child discover something new, feeling the sun on your face or hearing a wind chime are a few ways to connect with the power of the present moment.
My back and knee are much better. I am so grateful for the blessing of moving better and being in less pain. When I find myself walking very fast, I take a breath and remind myself to slow down and be more present by taking in all my senses. I remember how an older person walks, very deliberately and that helps me to moderate my pace.
The present moment is called so because it is a gift. I’d love to hear how you have learned to be more present. Share your thoughts below and share with others.
Know what calms you
The holiday season is here. No matter how you feel about the holidays, it is crucial for you to know how to stay
calm. I’ve recently returned to one of the things that helps me stay calm, crocheting. Ahhh, when I can grab my
crochet needles and start a project, there is a peace that I can’t describe that comes over me.
I love crochet because I can crochet alone or with others. This past weekend we went to a Hawks basketball
game and I was able to watch and crochet… I know multitasking but I was calming for me and I had orders
to complete. 😉 I crocheted in the car on the drive to the game and while at the game. Did you know that
crocheting and knitting are proven to be meditative?
No matter what may happen over the next few weeks, know what calms you. Take time to step away
and center yourself as you need to. And remember that CALM and CHAOS both come from the same
place, your thoughts. Ask yourself if your thoughts are serving you and giving you the peace you deserve.
Connect with the present moment by taking a few conscious breaths.
I’ll continue to share what keeps me calm over the next few weeks. I’d enjoy hearing from you what keeps you
calm. Share your comments below.
Everything IS Okay.
Yesterday as I was driving over to Hobby Lobby I noticed a random sign, Everything will be okay. It wasn’t a billboard or poster, it was a sign someone had posted large enough for you to see as you turned the corner into the shopping center. The phrase jumped out at me as I turned. My day had been busy nothing extraordinary had been happening and I was “feeling” pretty good. Even though I felt perfectly fine, I was comforted by seeing these words.
Everything will be okay. When was the last time that thought crossed your mind? Life is so very busy, so many things to do, places to go, people to see or text. :0 Something as simple as a random sign as I drove into a shopping center spurred this post. I have given myself a task to pay attention more. Slowing down is one way I can pay more attention to so many things. Taking a few minutes each day to be present through meditation also helps me pay more attention to what people view as random. Is it really random? There is order to all that happens. This universe is divinely inspired so I know that nothing is truly random. Paying attention more and being present to what is happening requires a major engagement in life. Keeping things simple also help me remember what is in important in my life.
A regular meditation practice has helped me to tune in to a lot of things. My mind is very active and if I didn’t meditate it would be even more active. Imagine your mind like a car driving down a street. If you don’t direct the car, it might end up on a dark, scary street. If you pay attention to where you are going, you choose a street that is bright and easy to navigate. Our minds want to take a trip. If we don’t direct the car (our mind) it might end up somewhere we don’t want it to. Train your brain. Mind your mind. Think about what you think about. I ask myself, “is this thought serving me well?” When I find myself flustered or out of sorts, at some point I slow down, breathe deeply and remind myself that “All is well.” I really liked the reminder from the random sign I saw, I would change it to be, “Everything IS Okay.”
Share in the comments how you are minding your mind. If this was helpful, please share with others.
Well, it’s my birthday weekend and the weather is doing its thing. I was reminded by several friends how my birthday weekend can be very interesting. As I was thinking about what I wanted to do, it occurred to me that all I really wanted to was to simply be home and relax. I wanted to Be Still. I had my monthly meditation program, Meditations & Conversations on Sunday, so being home was exactly where I wanted to be. My usual tradition is to take the day off from work so my husband and I prepared to be home for a few days based on the weather reports. The weather certainly has a way of helping you remember what is important.
I’ve been really paying close attention to things for a few years now. Once the weather reports recommended people stay home on Saturday, I knew where I would be. At home, warm and toasty ready to relax and unwind. Friday evening I pulled out my craft tools and settled in to create. I altered a clipboard and a few journals on Friday night. Saturday I woke up and decided I would follow the suggestions of the weather professionals and stayed home. I sent a text to my sister-in-law and niece to postpone my birthday lunch. When my husband went outside to get something out of the car, the door was frozen. I smiled at him and said,
“I guess that is confirmation that we should stay home today.”
I have been a planner all my life. It’s funny how we make plans and continue going in that direction no matter what is going on… we made plans, right? We can’t possibly not do what we “planned” to do. The more I continue to get still, the less I find myself being able to plan as I have in the past. I am learning to connect with what is most important for me to do and move in that direction. I’m going with the FLOW…Feeling Loving Open Willing to pay attention to what is the next best thing for me to do.
Start off the year with#selfcare and Recharge. Replenish. Reconnect. If you are in Atlanta please be my guest at my Meditations & Conversations at Juiceez Etc. at 2:00 PM. The details are in the attached flyer, I hope to see you there.
I’d love to hear how you are FLOWING and connecting with life. Please share your comments below.